Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A New Old Home

The basic work of our psyche is to create wholeness by integrating all the sometimes warring elements within. Some dreams show that we’re on the path of integration; this dream shows the opposite.

The dream: A friend has bought a Victorian house. I am thinking about buying a house nearby, and my friend is  condescending toward it. I feel hurt and diminished by her reaction. The house I am considering, which I defend as being “Queen Anne vintage,” has elements of both an older style house and a modern tract home. There is a large laundry room downstairs which I joke can be the children’s playroom. I am not sure that I like the dining room, or rather the living room dining room combo: one large rectangular room. A moment later the dining room splits into an L alcove with a half-height white fence.

Interpretation: The friend represents the part of me that has made an accommodation to collective reality. She has found a Victorian house in which to live, with all its symbolism of a strictly ordered public life and the hint of a secret private life. Another part wants a home that combines the old--the values and expectations of the very different culture of my youth—with the contemporary. Of course there are hints this modernity is narrow in its own way, with its tract homes, but in the dream it was presented as practical and serviceable. I make room for the disruptive anarchic children, even if the space (downstairs, in the laundry) seems grudging and tentative--not to mention implying they need to be cleaned up. I can’t combine all the background chatter (din-ing room) with life (living room) so I split off the unconscious elements (the L shaped alcove indicates the unconscious) and fence them in. The future work is to face these elements and give them adequate space.

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